Online safety - information for professionals

We all know that the internet and social media have become a huge part of children's lives.

As well as social opportunities and access to information and experiences, it could also expose them to inappropriate and harmful content and behaviour, bullying and sexual exploitation.

View the chapter on e-safety and internet abuse in our procedures manual which helps support, signpost and provide guidance for professionals.

We've also produced an online safety strategy which is attached to this page. It aims to ensure that everyone who works with children and young people in Derby and Derbyshire knows how to correctly advise children about using the internet safely.

Section 67 of the Serious Crime Act 2015 inserts a new offence into the Sexual Offences Act 2003, at section 15A, criminalising sexual communication with a child. The offence carries a maximum 2 year prison sentence. This came into effect on 3 April 2017 and will not be retrospective, and will apply in England and Wales.

Derbyshire Police & the College of Policing

Download the briefing document on police action in response to youth produced sexual imagery ('Sexting'). This contains a useful understanding of how the police will respond when a report is made to them.

The Sexual Offences Act 2003, includes the offence of sexual grooming. But action can only be taken by authorities where it can be proved an adult intended to meet a child. Increasingly, online abusers have no intention of meeting the child physically. They may, for example, persuade a child to perform sexual acts via a webcam.

Derbyshire Schools Net also provides, support and guidance for keeping children safe in education.

View guidance for sexting in schools fromThe UK Council for Internet safety.

CEOP Command is part of the National Crime Agency (NCA) and is responsible for identifying the main online threats to children.

There's also advice for professionals on the Think U Know website.

UK Safer Internet Centre has a helpline and email address for professionals who work with children to report any online safety concerns they may have.

email: helpline@saferinternet.org.uk or tel: 0844 381 4772.

Childnet works directly with children and young people from the ages of 3 to eighteen on a weekly basis, as well as parents, carers, teachers and professionals, finding out about their real experiences online, and the positive things they are doing as well as sharing safety advice. It has pages for professionals and volunteers working with children.

National Working Group (NWG) is a charitable UK-wide organisation set up to address the issues of the exploitation of children.

Its website includes a child sexual exploitation e-learning package aimed at professionals who come into contact with children, young people and families.

Our partner agencies, including schools and children's homes, have Gold Membership which enables them to login to the NWG website and access their resources.

Please contact NWG to be given a unique username and password, mentioning that you are one of our a partner agencies.

email: network@nwgnetwork.org or tel: 01332 585371.